The ongoing deadlock between the social media companies and the government regarding the new guidelines of the government has now reached the Delhi High Court. The social media platform WhatsApp has filed a petition in the Delhi High Court challenging the guidelines issued by the central government on February 25, saying that the central government guidelines violate the privacy of people using WhatsApp. In such a situation, social media companies should not be compelled to follow these guidelines.
According to the information coming out, in the journey filed in the Delhi High Court, on behalf of WhatsApp, it has been said that in the new guidelines of the government, it has been said to trace the chat. In a way, it is in the same way that we are being asked for information about our consumers’ fingerprints. This will break end-to-end encryption and fundamentally weaken people’s right to privacy.
On behalf of WhatsApp, it has been said that we are with the civil society on this matter, which talks about the privacy of the people who use WhatsApp all over the world. Meanwhile, in the information that is coming from WhatsApp, it is also being said that WhatsApp will also continue to negotiate with the Government of India on practical solutions with the objective of securing the interests of the people.
Whatsapp said there was no other option left
WhatsApp has said that it is being continuously argued in its favor that when “traceability” was first talked about in early 2019, dozens of organizations wrote to the Indian government that such a provision would allow Indian Users’ privacy will be violated. Action has been talked about not following the IT rule issued earlier this year. In such a situation, we have no choice but to knock the way to the court.
Earlier on 25 February this year, the directive issued by the central government said that these social media platforms will have to provide their officers and contact addresses in India, along with appointing a Compliance Officer, Grievance Redressal, Offensive Content Monitoring, Compliance Reports and Objectionable Content will have to be removed. So far, under Section 79 of the Information Technology Act, these social media companies were exempted from any kind of accountability as intermediaries. Which meant that even if objectionable information came on these social media platforms, even then these social media platforms could have avoided taking responsibility for it and no action could be taken against them. But it is clear from the guidelines issued by the government that if these companies do not follow these rules then their intermediary status can be snuffed out and they can come under criminal action under the current laws of India.